Systems Thinking vs Belief? LO19764

Mark Feenstra (
Mon, 9 Nov 1998 11:14:23 +1300

Replying to LO19753 --

Steve Randall asks in LO 19753 about where the room in systems thinking is
for intuition and feelings - given that these are faculties which clearly
can contribute to our consciousness of systems. I share this question and
advocate the use of the term systems consciousness as a more encompassing
description, within which systems thinking makes a contribution.

I think that the same problem applies to the term mental models. IMO
mental models are not only mental but are usually also emotional and
physical. I have taken to referring to them as "I complexes". For those of
us more aware of mental activity we notice the mental aspect. For someone
tuned in emotionally they are more aware of the emotional aspect, etc. I
have developed some techniques for becoming conscious of and working with
these I complexes, and am convinced that for most people it is the
emotional aspect of them which is most challenging, as distinct from the

I wonder if the intellectual emphasis in the USA originated approach to OL
simply reflects the strengths and hence likely biases of the people who
popularized this material. This perception is grounded to some extent in
the memory of a friend who became aware of this material after returning
to the workplace following a period devoted to childcare. During that
period she participated actively in an NZ volunteer organization called
Playcenter. Many of the ideas she found in the OL domain were very
familiar to her because she had been practicing them for years in this
organization - but without the same sophisticated language that gets used
by the pro's. If OL is anything more than another fad that reflects its
modernist heritage faithfully perhaps we do need to find a way to get out
of our heads a bit more and open our consciousness to what we have to
learn from the larger (not just mental) wholes in which we participate.

Warm regards



"Mark Feenstra" <>

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